Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Money, money, money.

I'm a cynical man with loose ethics and even looser morals. So I chose to do something involving satire, or something humorous. Nothing fancy and no preaching; just a ton of post-it notes and about three bucks in change.

My "topic" is money and all the wonderful things for which it is used. I stuck a coin to a post-it, then stuck the post-it to something people will see, then wrote a smartass comment on it. Who knows, maybe people will think about where their cash goes and where it comes from. Or maybe they'll just do their laundry.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cut down on Light Pollution

   When im walking to the train station after my night classes I tend to look up alot, at the buildings , the pigeons, avoiding contact with other human beings. One night I felt something was missing, a couple years back i went hiking in New Mexico and i remember at night you could see the milky way and shooting stars almost every second. Its a site alot of people do not have the luxury of ever seeing in their entire life because we insist on illuminating our environment even when its not needed.

   What i propose to do to inform people of the wondrous site they are missing every time the sun goes down, I want to make a sort of interactive sculpture by creating "Homeless Stars". They can be hung up or hung over objects around bright light sources. They will be cut out of cardboard and illustrated on using sharpie marker and white paint and strung together with twine. On the front, a very disgruntled face, a depressed expression, or lonely eyes. On the back will be what the "Homeless Star" is saying and a website to find out more about light pollution, for this i will be using

Thursday, October 21, 2010

promoting engagement


Often on my daily walks throughout the city, I make a point of finding something new to notice or appreciate along even the most familiar of streets.

This project, based on a similar idea, is intended to call people’s attention to the world around them and bring a little interest out of the mundane by pointing out the little things, so easy to dismiss in the harried monotony of the day-to-day.

In order to do this, I will use the concept of a Polaroid picture, with tiny illustrations of any points of interest in the spaces where the photograph would normally develop. These I‘ll then adhere to places near or beyond which the original fixture can be seen, with written directions beneath (“Look up,” etc.) that would ideally prompt passers by into locating the original object on the street and, as such, get in the habit of looking around.

Litter-free Zone Updates: Materials & Location

So far, I've got three signs that will post into the cigarette and trash waste area at the corner of State & Roosevelt. They are very generic and are suited for their purpose. They'll be printed on thick paper and stapled to thin, wood planks to stick into the ground.
I have a feeling that signs like these are just like any other a person would see... And so they may not get the attention they deserve. I've been pondering designing signs inspired by the "farewell" signs at the end of Disney's It's A Small World ride:
A collage of brightly colored signs all using custom type treatments may stick out like eye candy and an accepted art installation on the street. Maybe more people will stop and take notice this way? It certainly is more positive.

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Issue:
We as a people have gotten pretty lax in regards to acceptable behavior, habits, and morals. Avenues that were once considered taboo become dirty pleasures, dirty pleasures become habitual, and habits become routine. We eat a lot of unhealthy foods, we don't get as much exercise as we should, materialism is a massive part of culture, and we seem to forget the foundations of the golden rule.

My idea:
To catch the attention of people stuck within a normal routine; to stop someone just long enough before entering a place of business and think, "Geez... is that really what has become of me? I'm THAT type of consumer?"

The gist here that is attempted to be demonstrated is an ironic or thought provoking image based on each of the "Seven Deadly Sins". Each of these individual images are 11"x17", will be printed out, and taped onto the wall or door of the targeted business. Those that are the intended audience will be consumers entering or exiting the business it is posted onto.

Sloth: Gamestop or similar gaming center.

Lust: to be placed at a popular "gentleman's club".

Greed: was thinking of putting this at the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Wrath: On an I.R.S. building, or somewhere else people really don't want to be...

Envy: Abercrombie & Fitch, Fitness Center, Gym, etc.

Two more on the way... (Pride & Gluttony)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gun Violence


In 2008 there were 16,272 murders in the united states, 67% were committed with firearms. Gun control is a huge issue in the United States. Especially between Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles. In Chicago the gun ban has not effected the murder rate or gun violent rate significantly. It dropped in 2008 17% but then raised again the following year.

To make the public more aware, and hopefully take action by calling the police or reporting violence my goal is to create installation art within a public space. To do this I will simulate crime scenes that subject the viewer to information about the violence not only in our city but in our country.

The crime scenes will be displayed in a series of different scenarios.

Scenario #1: A chalk outline typical for a crime scene. Placed caution tape around to draw attention to the scene. An informational stencil will be sprayed down near the crime scene, somewhat similar to the style or medium of the body outline. The viewer subject to the scene will want to pick up the card out of curiosity of what they are viewing.

Scenario #2: A blood trail leading someone away for the initial spotting into an uncomfortable area, within this ally the trail will end leaving a wallet or informational card.

There are two objectives to this installation project within a public space. The idea is that it will raise awareness to the public, but the side project would be to see how many people react to the installation. How many people follow the potential crime to the visual reward? How many people call the police? How many people don't do anything but just walk away? It is as much a public study as an art project.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Home sweet home

My project of taking it to the streets will look at the current state of the housing and real-estate crash. I will scout out foreclosed homes and place signage with the words “home sweet home” or another home themed message. I want these common expression of home to be placed in the current state of foreclosures to draw attention to ideas of how our economy was able to destroy so much.

The idea of home and its welcoming message comments that at the time of the housing bubble, many of these homes were built not for sustainability but for profit and many times bought with out the proper credit. These actions almost go against the notion of home sweet home.

The signage that I plan to post will be bold and graphical, it will contain the same characteristics of most foreclosure signs with big bold letters and minimal color, I plan to add a graphic logo as a way to brand my projects together.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take It To The Streets

The reason I picked this issue is because I feel that the health of our society is in a very dangerous state. If something isn't done fast then who knows where we will end up.

Trends by State 1985–2009

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.

Thirty-three states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.

The location I plan to carry my message to will be fast food restaurants. I will produce mock menus of how to loose the calories and fat intake of what foods the restaurants offer, also I will present recipe cards on how the restaurants really make their food.

Take it to the street: Litter-free zone

Initially inspired by the phrase "One man's garbage is another man's treasure," I formulated a plan to spell out the word treasure using waste as in half-eaten chicken wings, sandwiches, french fries, etc. As a culture of consumption, we often buy more than we can chew and our trash bins (and streets) and filled with the unnecessary waste. The problem I had with this idea, is something that's bugged me ever since my mom took a walk with me around our neighborhood and we cleaned it up by picking up litter. I didn't want to create more of it.

And so I've migrated to a new outlet. Walking through my neighborhood, I'm often disgusted that there is so much trash on the ground. The city provides us with trashcans and yet people are still either too lazy or too dense to use them. A particular incident that sticks with me really pushes me to change people's attitudes about littering:

While riding the subway, I watched a woman walk off the train and rather than taking an extra step to drop her McDonald's bag in the trashcan, she bent down and shoved her trash between the train car and the platform. My jaw just dropped. Really?!

We see litter everyday; it's almost acceptable to see it in the city. So I'm striving to bring more awareness not only to trashcans, but also to litter. Hopefully this will help others take action as well.

1. Garden Signs. There is a withered flowerbed behind the bus stop at State and Roosevelt here in the South Loop. No plants grow most likely because it is infested with cigarette butts that people have carelessly thrown there. I will plant small decorative signs that you'd find in someone's garden (usually promoting nice messages) to provoke some action. Signs will say things such as: "Stop! A trashcan is just around the corner," "Keep me clean!," and "This is a flowerbed, NOT a cigarette butt bed."

2. Trash Pile. Gathering all of the trash from a single segment of sidewalk into one place and pointing it out is a great way of showing other just how much litter there really is. I would pile it on top of a piece of craft paper that would read "This litter was all gathered from our Roosevelt Road sidewalks. Help keep our streets clean. Use the trashcan!"

3. Use Me. Oh those poor trashcans. Sitting there day by day with no one uses them. I'm sure they're aching for attention. I will dress trashcans up with banners that read "USE ME" in hopes that passerby will actually notice and take action.

4. Litter-free Zone. Again using a trashcan, I'll create an imaginary barrier around it in which text reads "Litter-free Zone." Litter that people have carelessly left will be gathered up against the edge of this imaginary barrier leaving people wondering, "Why didn't you just take the extra step to drop your trash in the garbage bin?"

Did you use the trashcan today?

Friday, October 15, 2010


so I've made my stencil which I'll bring to class, but I did some tests today using different materials. they all need some trial and error, but each one worked relatively well for a first try.

The first one I tried was the flour, which is the bottom picture. I think I put too much on, and I'm not sure I'm going to use it next time.

the second try was the sugar, which is the middle picture. it worked really nice in some areas, but again, I put too much on some spots, and when I removed the stencil, the stray sugar fell onto the pavement, so next time I'll have to sweep it off before I lift it up.

the third try was chalk that had been powdered. I think this one worked the best. the only issue I had was on the website. some of the chalk didn't come free from the stencil and cracked off from the lettering, so next time I'll have to tap it free gently to make sure it all comes off.

maybe this week I'll try cornstarch as well. the nice thing about all these is that they can be dyed with food coloring to get different colors. the chalk is fine as is already. I'm also trying to hunt down chalk spray, which can be found online, but apparently not in stores.

Comfort Zone

I chose the idea of personal space and interaction with art for this project. When I thought of this, I tried thinking about how people in Chicago normally travel with and around so many other people and how personal space is often disregarded on most sidewalks. With the phrase “ Comfort Zone”, I think it is a funny way for people to interact with the space. In reality, if they walk over the taped off area that says that, they are stepping into and out of their comfort zone. I didn’t want to take this assignment too seriously and just want people to be surprised to see something like this on the street. I plan on using tape on the sidewalks for this project, as well as possibly taking it further with the “reserved” sign we talked about in class. With these images below, I am not sure whether I want to do a dashed line or solid line so I put both. Also, the typeface may change. I am not sure yet.

Take it to the Street: Chicago Bird Collisions during Migration Season

John Gregg

ISSUE: Thousands of birds are killed or injured every year as they fly through the Chicago area.
Most collisions occur when birds are distracted by lights or reflections in high rise buildings.

IDEA: I want to raise awareness to this as well as inform people as to what actions to take if they've found a bird which as been injured or killed.

FORM: I have contacted the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors to get specific data on on birds which have been removed or rescued by them. I plan to make cards, 3x5" which will include a rendering of the bird, it's name and date that it was found. I will include information about the species as well as their migratory habits. There will be a short description of the CBCM and how to contact them.

The cards may be sealed in plastic, possibly laminated with a hole punch in one corner. I will attach the cards to existing structure such as posts with large rubber bands on the sight where the birds were found. Some cards may be taped directly to the sidewalk on the sight. I may employ other methods of securing the cards dependent on the location.

Finders have a choice to leave the cards in place or to carry them away to have a record of the bird, the event and CBCM's information.

A rough example is below:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Honey Bees

The informational link I'm including with my stencil is

like I said in class, I'm planning on putting this stencil around the city or even around my town. if I get approval, I'd like to put it outside of stores that sell honey like grocery stores, or even just more specialty stores.

as for using the stencil, I'm thinking of different ways to create a removable, but still effective graphic. I've found spray chalk online, which I think I'm going to hunt down, and I was also considering filling the stencil with colored sugar or flour, which can be easily swept up if anyone has any concerns. for buildings, I would probably just spray the graphic onto paper to stick up, and leave the more messy materials for the ground.

The reason I chose this issue to address was because I don't really have any sort of causes that I'm passionate about, but I always felt bad for the honeybees that were dying from colony collapse disorder, so I just made that my cause.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Take it to the Streets: Ikigai

A friend of mine and I were having lunch the other day at a Japanese marketplace when he asked me if I'd heard of the term, "ikigai." I said no, so he explained it briefly to me. He said in Japan, having "ikigai" proved to be a source for longer living, better health, and more happiness. But "ikigai" varied from person to person. The understanding was, having something that the individual feels strongly is a reason for which to live life can be an ikigai. So, one's hobby might provide ikigai, or one's family, or one's work.  One person might have multiple things as ikigai. But the point is, if a person does not know a reason why they are living, or does not value living, the quality of their life reflects this.
It can be compared to the french term raison d'ĂȘtre, however in contrast, a raison d'ĂȘtre is one singular thing that consumes one's life even at the detriment of social relationships, and few people have one.

Everyone, according to the Japanese, has a hidden ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one's ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

So what is it that makes life worth living? What is your ikigai? Is it work? Lover? Family? God? Friends? A hobby?

Issue: Americans go through the motions, especially with how fast-paced life is in the city, and it would be nice to get them to slow down, "smell the roses" as one would say, and re-evaluate why it is we're each doing the things we are and why it is we value our lives the way they are.
Concept: To essentially condense or steam-down the idea of what it means to have a reason or value to living, take it somewhere where there is often people standing and waiting, and give them the opportunity to anonymously write down their own reason(s) for others to see.
Method: Likely a large format poster-style printed matter. One half (or less) containing information for reading and instructions, the other half (or more) leaving empty space and an attached writing instrument for people to use to write their contributions.
Placement: If possible, near bus stops, crosswalks or elevators. An area where people would be standing for a time, waiting before they can move on.

If the posters were done in such a way that they could remain for a while, they could in theory collect a bunch of reasons for people to live, which could later be collected, compiled, and then produced as a record of the event.

The next two images are roughly what I imagined, the first being the roughest stage and the second being more simplified and open. The benefit of the first is it would inform the viewer more, the advantage of the second is it would allow for broader interpretation and take less time to read.

Further reading/sources: Ikigai and Mortality (Psychology Today), A study from Japan using seniors and temporary employment, Wikipedia (Necessary to link? You all know how to google this.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guy Peellaert

Not "Take it to the Street's" orientated, but still a great use of type and image in the 2-d plane. Guy Peellaert, from his book Pravda.